Joseph: God Calls and God Transforms
Submitted by Jennifer Power
God clearly called Joseph. God knew where Joseph was headed even in the midst of the dysfunction of his family dynamics, his arrogance, and his lack of good sense. God gave Joseph dreams early in his life which foretold the greatness to which Joseph would rise.
Look now at the life of Joseph when he forgives his brothers (Genesis 42-45). Again, look at the man.
Joseph, who once flaunted in vanity the beautiful coat given to him by his father, now flees physical temptations of adultery, landing himself in prison.
Joseph, who once bragged about the dreams God gave him, now humbly gives credit to God for the interpretation of dreams as he interprets dreams in prison and for Pharaoh.
Joseph, who was once so hated by his brothers they would not even speak to him, now weeps openly in their presence and forgives them.
Many years have passed, and something has changed in Joseph. He is not the same person he once was. He does not just act differently – he is a different man altogether.
Why the change? His circumstances were bitter. Torn from his family, made to be a slave, thrown into prison, he could have grown into a bitter man. He does not.
Instead, God is with Joseph.
Through suffering, God transforms Joseph into a humble man – a powerful man, but a humble man. A man not full of bitterness for those who did him harm, but a man full of wisdom and bursting with love.
God called Joseph, then God transformed him.
He will do the same for you. He is doing the same for me.
Circumstances, whether sweet or bitter, do not define who we become. God longs to make us more and more like Christ, and our surrender and trust opens the door for Him to do so. Christ knocks on the door of His church, longing to wake us up to what He deeply desires to do in and among us.
If we trust Him, if we give Him our all, everything that comes to us in life becomes the training ground for Christlikeness.
Our work is passive, and His work is active. “Be transformed” the Bible says, not “transform yourself.” Submit to God. Trust Him in every circumstance. Give Him your weaknesses, and let Him shine His light through them. Ask Him to reveal more of the depths of His love for you. He cares for you deeply.
Trusting Him is not dangerous, for it is only in trusting Him that we become fully alive.
This week, many of the children’s classes are wrapping up their discussions on the life of Joseph (while some are beginning to look at the life of Moses).
I encourage all families to sit down and read the story of Joseph together. You can read it in Genesis (chapters 37, 39-46) or in the children’s Beginner’s Bible. Ask your children what they have learned through studying his life. I have been amazed at how much they have been learning as all the SPL Kids classes have been working through the Bible at roughly the same pace whether they come to SPL Kids Worship, F3, the Sunday education hour, or some combination thereof.
It has been a blessing to me to enter Joseph’s story with the kids and to see how doing so invites us to enter the story ourselves.
We became Joseph who received a lavish gift.
We became the jealous siblings who are not as loved by our father.
We became the broken brothers who received Joseph’s undeserved forgiveness, and as we contemplated God’s forgiveness for us, we are encouraged to likewise go and forgive, causing a chain reaction of forgiveness and love rather than of hurt and revenge.
We remember that just like God was with Joseph, he is always with us. Even when life hurts, God has not left us alone.
I pray, that as you enter this story with your children, God will breathe new life into your family.
May you know, just like Joseph, that God is with you, He loves you, He called you, and He will transform you.
Be blessed this week in Christ.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:1-4
Worship song of the week: Climb by Will Reagan & United Pursuit